The Minister for the Environment has ordered an immediate ban on the sale and distribution of the chemical weed killer Linuron.
Deputy Steve Luce has signed a Ministerial Decision that immediately revokes the sale and distribution in Jersey of all plant protection products containing the active ingredient Linuron.
Linuron is used to control weeds and grasses in a range of field crops, particularly the Jersey Royal potato crop. Linuron is highly soluble and persistent in water. It was detected in Jersey waters, including Val de la Mare reservoir, on a number of occasions last year.
The Department of the Environment and Jersey Water have been working with the farming industry through the ‘Action for Cleaner Water Group’ for some time to improve the water quality of reservoirs, streams and other water sources in Jersey.
This season, growers have made significant changes to the way they plant Jersey Royal potatoes. This includes:
•using less fertiliser (with a lower phosphate content)
•more precise application of pesticides and fertiliser (placed next to the seed potato instead of broadcasting over fields)
•targeted use of less harmful pesticides
•expanding areas for trials (such as the use of slow release fertiliser).
The Minister for the Environment, Deputy Steve Luce said “The ban on pesticides containing Linuron adds to the package of measures already being delivered by the farming and related sectors. It will support the new Water Management Plan by helping to secure the clean water which our health, economic activity and biodiversity relies on. I have discussed the ban with the industry and everyone recognises the need to keep Linuron out of Jersey’s water.”
The decision includes a ‘use up’ period until 31 December 2017 so farmers can use up any products containing Linuron. A use up period is normal for pesticide withdrawals and is timed so that Linuron is not used during next year’s potato planting.
The decision is in line with the Council of Minister’s strategic focus on critical environmental resources and the benefits of adopting environmental management principles to help improve productivity and efficiency.